One of the most common ingredients one can find in Indian kitchens is besan or gram flour. After the wheat flour, gram flour is the most common kind of flour used in the in the Indian cuisine for mainly the purpose of cooking. It is actually a kind of pulse flour made from chickpeas. These chickpeas can either be roasted or raw. The flour made from the roasted chickpeas is more flavourful and more commonly used as the gram flour obtained by pulsing raw chickpeas has a slightly bitter taste. There are several tempting dishes which can be prepared from gram flour (as is widely done in India). However, not many know that this simple ingredient is not just for adding extra flavour, but also has numerous beauty benefits.
This article provides you with all the uses of gram flour which will prove to be helpful to you.
Benefits of gram flour for skin
Benefits of gram flour for hair
Benefits of besan (gram Flour) for skin
1. Gram Flour for oily skin
gram flour is extremely beneficial for oily skin as it helps to absorb excess oil and sebum from the skin. It dries up on the skin very quickly and in doing so, it helps to tighten open pores. To help with oily skin, a homemade face pack made with simple ingredients including gram flour can be prepared.
Gram flour-lemon face pack
You will need: 2 tablespoons of gram flour, 2 tablespoons of rosewater, and 5 table spoons of lemon juice.
How to: mix gram flour with rose water and fresh lemon juice. Make sure there are no dry lumps. You will obtain a paste like consistency. Apply this paste on you face and neck evenly. Allow the face pack to dry completely. This will take about 15 minutes. Rinse using cold water and pat dry using a towel. Follow up with a gel based moisturiser.
Why this works: gram flourn helps to absorb excess oil from the pores as well as pull out dirt from the clogged pores. Lemon is a natural lightening remedy. Oily skin can look dull due to accumulation of grime and dirt on the face, especially around the forehead and nose area. Lemon juice helps to remove that dullness.
2. Gram Flour as natural exfoliator
An exfoliator is a substance or ingredient which helps to remove the layer of dead or damaged skin from the body due to its slightly abrasive nature. It is also commonly known as scrubbing. Exfoliating is an important skin care step. While there are plenty of scrubs available in the markets, you can prepare your own facial or body scrub using gram flour. Due to its granular texture, it acts as an exfoliator for the skin and helps to get rid of dry patches as well as rough skin.
Gram flour-yoghurt scrub
You will need: 2 tablespoons of gram flour, 1 tablespoon of yoghurt, a pinch of turmeric.
How to: combine the two ingredients well enough. Begin by cleaning your face using a mild cleanser. Pat your face dry. Take the gram flour scrub and apply this paste evenly on your face. Let it dry. After about 10 minutes, wet your hands and start scrubbing your face without removing the gram flour. Use circular motions to exfoliate your skin. Work slowly using wet hands so that you don’t wash away the flour. Scrub for 5 minutes and then rinse your face using cold water.
Follow up with a moisturiser.
How this works: gram flour helps to exfoliate the skin while yoghurt helps to nourish the skin. Using gram flour alone would be too abrasive on the skin. Hence yoghurt helps to make it milder on the skin. Turmeric is anti-bacterial in nature and helps to reduce acne as well as scarring. You can use this remedy twice a week.
3. Gram Flour to reduce facial hair
Different options are available to get rid of facial hair. But these remedies include chemicals like hydrogen peroxide and other bleaching agents which don’t remove the facial hair but only lighten them to reduce their appearance. Such chemical treatments can prove to be harmful for the skin in the long run. Other options like facial waxing and threading are painful and lead to tugging and pulling of the skin. If you are looking for natural alternatives to help reduce the facial hair then gram flour will prove to be helpful.
Gram flour-fenugreek pack
You will need: 2 tablespoons of fenugreek seeds, 3 tablespoons of gram flour, 1 tablespoon of honey.
How to: soak the fenugreek seeds in water for at least 5-6 hours. After they well soaked, put them in a blender. Add the gram flour and honey. Grind into a paste. Apply this paste to your clean face and focus on the areas with more hair growth such as the upper lips, hair line and cheekbones. Let this pack stay on your face for half an hour. Without using any water, scrub the pack around the areas with hair. Remove the face pack using circular motions while it is dry. Wash away the residue using cold water. Repeat this remedy twice a week to see faster results.
How this works: gram flour and fenugreek seeds contain compounds which help to reduce the rate of hair growth. Honey contains natural lightening agents which help to reduce the appearance of dark facial hair.
4. Gram Flour for skin pigmentation
Skin pigmentation can be attributed to several factors. It can be the result of environmental exposures such as the harsh sunlight or pollution. This can result in facial tanning as well as hyper pigmentation in places such as cheekbones and around the mouth. A poor diet can also lead to skin dullness. However, these issues can be solved with the gram flour- rice flour skin lightening face pack.
Gram Flour-rice flour pack
You will need: 2 tablespoons of gram flour, 2 tablespoons of rice flour, 1/4th cup of lemon juice.
How to: simply mix all the ingredients together to form a paste. Apply this paste on your clean face and neck. You can also use this specifically on the areas with hyperpigmentation. Let this paste dry and then rise off using cold water.
How this works: gram flour and rice flour are both known to help with hyperpigmentation. Rice flour helps to get rid of pigmentation and results in even skin tone. Lemon juice helps to lighten the pigmented areas as well. You can repeat this remedy every day or every alternate day to see results.
Gram flour- orange pack
You will need: 2 tablespoons of gram flour, 1 tablespoon of orange peel powder and a few tablespoons of milk.
How to: mix all the ingredients to form a lump free paste and apply onto the face. Let it dry completely. Then wash away using cold water.
How this works: orange peel powder is packed with anti-oxidants which help to reduce skin tanning and soothe sun burns as well. The combination of gram flour and orange peel powder will help to get rid to skin discolouration naturally.
Benefits of gram flour for hair
5. Gram Flour as hair cleanser
Gram flour can absorb dirt and excess oil from the scalp without making it dry. You can use it as a mild cleansing agent to purify the scalp.
Gram flour – rose water cleanser
You will need: ½ cup of gram flour, ½ cup of rose water, 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
How to: add the baking soda to gram flour. Mix nicely. Add rose water and combine until a smooth paste is formed. The mixture should not be too runny or too thick. Pour water on your scalp and make it damp. Remove the excess water with the help of a towel. After your hair have soaked the water, go on to apply the flour cleanser. Massage it onto your hair and clean your scalp for 5-10 minutes. Leave it on for another 5-10
How this works: Gram flour along with baking soda will help to remove product build-up from the hair and also help to treat itchy scalp. Rose water is mild on the hair and will also add fragrance to your cleanser.
6. To get rid of dandruff
Dandruff can prove to be very problematic as it results in itching and sore scalp. Harsh shampoos can further dry the scalp and aggravate dandruff as well. Gram flour can be used to treat this problem efficiently.
Gram Flour –curd hair pack
You will need: 5 tablespoons of gram flour, 2 tablespoons of curd, and 5 tablespoons of lemon juice.
How to: simply combine all the ingredients together to form a paste. Wet your hair slightly. Apply the mask throughout the length of your hair focusing on the scalp. Let the mixture stay for about ½ an hour and then wash off using cold water. Use a mild shampoo to remove any residual smell of curd.
How this works: lemon juice is extremely beneficial for getting rid of dandruff. It also helps to remove any dirt from the scalp and leaves it refreshed. Curd contains acids which will help to balance the pH level. This in turn helps in eliminating dandruff.
Health Benefits of Gram Flour
While gram flour is quite popular as a beauty remedy, many people stay unaware of its numerous health benefits. It is a highly nutritious food which is rich with many healthy compounds.
- It contains high levels of protein – chickpeas are high in fibre as well as proteins which help to build muscles and strengthen hair follicles.
- Lowers cholesterol levels – gram flour has unsaturated fats which help to maintain heart health. It is also healthy for heart patients. It is rich in soluble fibre which aid proper blood circulation.
- Cuts down the diabetes risk – gram flour has low glycaemic index. This helps to keep the blood sugar level in check. In fact, it is recommended for diabetic patients as well. It is a good replacement of wheat flour.
- It is rich in iron – chickpeas contain high amount of iron. Therefore gram flour can be used in several dishes to overcome iron deficiency.
- Gives an instant boost of energy – gram flour has healthy carbohydrates which quickly get converted into energy by the body. It is not very hard to digest and therefore, snacks made from gram flour provide quick energy.
- Can be used as a post workout snack – consuming gram flour snacks (preferably baked) is very beneficial after a heavy workout as it will provide a lot of protein. The best way to eat this is making gram flour pancakes.
Gram Flour Pancake Recipe
You will need: 1 cup of gram flour, chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, chopped coriander, salt as per your taste, red chilli powder as per your taste, any kind of seasoning.
How to: mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Add water very slowly and keep mixing simultaneously. Once a paste like consistency has been achieved, add a few tablespoons of water and mix well. Keep this batter aside while you heat oil in a non-stick pan. Once the pan is hot, pour some batter onto it and spread it with the help of a spoon. Allow the pancake to cook on one side and then flip it. When the pancake is done from both sides, remove from the pan and drizzle with the seasoning of your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions about Gram Flour
|Is gram flour gluten free?||Yes, gram flour does not contain gluten. It can therefore be consumed by gluten intolerant people as well. It helps to prevent many allergies.|
|Can it help to tighten pores?||Besan has a very light texture. Simply making a paste from it and applying it on your face will help to tighten pores. Even though the presence of pores is quite natural on the skin, besan face packs can reduce their appearance.|
|Does gram flour cause open pores||It is unlikely that it will result in open pores. In general, using too many scrubs or using exfoliators daily can enlarge the pores and cause the production of more oil. It is therefore advised to use gram flour as an exfoliator only twice a week.|
|Is it true that gram flour helps in improving the mood?||Gram flour/ besan contains vitamin B6. This vitamin plays a vital role in the synthesis of certain chemicals which are responsible for improving the mood.|
|Are there any precautions one must take before using gram flour?||Gram flour is a very safe alternative to chemical based facial products. Allergic reactions to gram flour are very unlikely. It will not cause any breakouts. However, since it is mostly used as a face pack, it can be quite drying in nature. For people with dry skin, this may not be the best option. If necessary, it can be mixed with raw milk to avoid any dryness.
Consuming gram flour in the form of food is also safe since it is gluten free and will not lead to any allergic reactions.
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